Video Conferencing Etiquette
Before the video conference, you should know the following:
- How to mute and un-mute your microphone. (Usually a button on the remote with a Microphone icon.)
- The voice telephone number for each conference location.
- The video support number for VCS (Toll Free: 1-800-910-9601 | Fairbanks Local: 450-8390).
Here are some additional tips to make your video conferences more effective and efficient:
- When possible mute your mobile phone.
- The setup time is crucial for establishing successful connections and should be utilized to prepare for the upcoming presentation/conference.
- When room scheduling permits, have the bridge call each conference location at least 5 minutes before the actual start time. This allows problems to be identified and resolved prior to the start of the meeting.
- Check all cameras to be sure that important conference elements (such as the table where everyone will sit, whiteboards, and sketch pad easels) will be displayed as needed. In multi-camera rooms be aware of which camera you are using. If you switch to an auxiliary camera to show a whiteboard or a graphics stand; switch back to the main camera when the discussion turns to other topics.
- Avoid back lighting (bright sunlight from windows), the average room will have sufficient lighting for a video conference.
- If there are table microphones ensure they are properly positioned. (they are very sensitive)
- Eliminate background noises near microphones (for example, laptop computer fan, mobile phones).
- When choosing clothes for the video conference, keep it simple—dark, solid colors are always a good choice.
- If written, graphical or computerized information will be used during the meeting, communicate the information with all sites, either by sending it in advance of the meeting or by using the system to transmit the material during the meeting.
- Introduce yourself and other participants when your site joins the conference.
- Most systems have voice activated switching enabled, this allows the conference to automatically switch to the camera nearest to the participant speaking. Announce your name when you start speaking. Speak calmly and slowly allowing the camera to adjust and focus on the speaker. Don't interrupt, interrupting another speaker causes the voice activated switching to become confused.
- Use names to direct questions to specific people.
- Make it a standard practice for all sites to mute their microphones when not speaking. This allows the current speaker to be seen by all sites without interruption.
- Be aware of the transmission delay, pause for others to comment. Start talking and keep talking and don't hesitate because you see or hear something unexpected. Small delays are always present. Don't ask, "Can you hear me?” After speaking, pause to allow others to comment.
- Ensure when setting the camera that overhead lights are not seen and the reflection of any lighting on the table are not on camera. Make sure any blinds and doors are closed.
- Avoid touching your face, fidgeting or moving too much.
- Small noises can be big distractions. Avoid shuffling paper, covering the microphone, tapping fingers, or clicking pens. These noises are easily picked up by the microphone and transmitted to other viewers.